This program was made possible by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
And welcome to this PBS NewsHour special live coverage of the January six hearings held this month by the Select Committee of the House of Representatives to investigate last year's attack on the United States Capitol.
Today's session, which is the sixth so far, was not expected.
The committee had announced last week that no further hearings would be held until July.
But reporting from our own Lisa Desjardins is that it was called because the committee considers new evidence that it has obtained, quote, urgent Lisa.
And our White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez have confirmed that today's witness will be Cassidy Hutchinson.
She is the second person to testify who had worked inside the Trump White House.
And her appearance is considered especially significant because she was a special assistant to former President Trump for legislative affairs and she was executive assistant to his chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
She's already provided testimony and closed door sessions with the committee and they've released video excerpts of that in previous hearings.
You can see she has just taken her seat at the witness table.
The reporting has it that she is 25 years old.
She worked for a couple of years in the Trump White House after graduating from college and after working on Capitol Hill as an intern to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
We're waiting for the committee.
This is Chairman Bennie Thompson.
Select Committee to investigate the January six attack on a United States Capitol would be in order.
Without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point.
Pursuant to House Deposition Authority Regulation ten, the chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material presented during this hearing.
In our hearings over the previous weeks, the Select Committee has laid out the details of a multi-part pressure campaign driven by the former president aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election and blocking the transfer of power.
We've shown that this effort was based on a lie, a lie that the election was stolen, tainted by widespread fraud.
Donald Trump's big lie.
In the weeks ahead, the committee will hold additional hearings about how Donald Trump summoned a mob of his supporters to Washington, spurred them to march on the Capitol, and failed to take meaningful action to quell the violence as it was unfolding on January six.
However, in recent days, the Select Committee has obtained new information dealing with what was going on in the White House on January 6th and in the days prior specific detailed information about what the former president and his top aides were doing and saying in those critical hours, firsthand details of what transpired in the office of the White House chief of staff just steps from the Oval Office as the threats of violence became clear, and indeed, violence ultimately descended on the Capitol in the attack on American democracy.
It's an important it's important that the American people hear that information immediately.
That's why, in consultation with the vice chair, I've recalled the committee for today's hearing.
As you've seen and heard in our earlier hearings, the Select Committee has developed a massive body of evidence, thanks to the many hundreds of witnesses who have voluntarily provided information relevant to our investigation.
It hasn't always been easy to get that information because the same people who drove the former president's pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about January six.
But thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won't be buried.
The American people won't be left in the dark.
Our witness today is Cassie Hutchinson, as embodied that courage.
I won't get into a lot of detail about Ms.. Hutchinson's testimony will show I'll allow her words to speak for themselves, and I hope everyone at home will listen very closely.
First, I will recognize our distinguished vice chair, Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
Any opening statement she can offer.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
In our first five hearings, the committee has heard from a significant number of Republicans, including former Trump administration Justice Department officials, Trump campaign officials, several members of President Trump's White House staff, a prominent conservative judge, and several others.
Today's witness is Cassidy.
Hutchinson is another Republican and another former member of President Trump's White House staff.
Certain of us in the House of Representatives recall that Ms.. Hutchinson once worked for House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, but she is also a familiar face on Capitol Hill because she held a prominent role in the White House Legislative Affairs Office and later was the principal aide to President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Ms. Hutchinson has spent considerable time up here on Capitol Hill representing the Trump administration, and we welcome her back.
Up until now, our hearings have each been organized to address specific elements of President Trump's plan to overturn the 2020 election.
Today, we are departing somewhat from that model because Ms.. Hutchinson's testimony touches on several important and cross-cutting topics topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings.
In her role working for the White House Chief of Staff, Ms.. Hutchinson handled a vast number of sensitive issues.
She worked in the West Wing several steps down the hall from the Oval Office.
Ms.. Hutchinson spoke daily with members of Congress, with high ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows, with White House counsel, lawyers, and with Mr. Tony or Nado, who served as the White House deputy chief of staff.
She also worked on a daily basis with members of the Secret Service who were posted in the White House.
In short, Ms.. Hutchinson was in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House.
Ms. Hutchinson has already sat for four videotaped interviews with committee investigators, and we thank her very much for her cooperation and for her courage.
We will cover certain but not all relevant topics within Ms. Hutchinson's knowledge today.
Again, our future hearings will supply greater detail, putting the testimony today in a broader and more complete context.
Today, you will hear Ms.. Hutchinson relate certain firsthand observations of President Trump's conduct on January 6th.
You will also hear new information regarding the actions and statements of Mr. Trump's senior advisers that day, including his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and his White House counsel.
And we will begin to examine evidence bearing on what President Trump and members of the White House staff knew about the prospect for violence on January 6th.
Even before that violence began.
To best communicate the information the committee has gathered.
We will follow the practice of our recent hearings, playing videotaped testimony from Ms.. Hutchinson and others, and also posing questions to Ms.. Hutchinson live.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Thank you very much.
Witness today is Miss Kasey Hutchinson, who served in the Trump administration in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs from 2019 to 2020, and as a special assistant to the president in the White House Chief of Staff's Office from March 2028 through January 2021.
I will now swear in our witness.
The witness will please stand and raise her right hand.
You sway a firm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
You may be seated.
And the record reflect the witness answered in the affirmative and now recognize myself for questions.
I'd like to start with a few questions about your background.
The these are some photographs we've obtained highlighting your career.
These show you with members of Congress and including Steve Scalise, as well as the White House with leader Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan.
Others show you with the president and members of Congress aboard Air Force One.
Before you worked in the White House, you worked on Capitol Hill for Representative Steve Scalise, the Republican whip, and Senator Ted Cruz.
And then in 2019, you moved to the White House and serve there until the end of the Trump administration in 2020.
When you started at the White House, you served in the Office of Legislative Affairs.
We understand that you were initially hired as a staff assistant.
But we're soon promoted to a position of greater responsibility.
Can you explain your role for the committee?
When I moved over to the White House chief of staff's office with Mr. Meadows when he became the fourth chief of staff.
It's difficult to describe a typical day.
I was a special assistant to the president and an adviser advisor to the chief of staff.
The days depended on what the President was doing that day, and that's kind of how my portfolio was reflected.
I had a lot of outreach with members of Congress, senior cabinet, cabinet officials.
We would work out work on policy issues with relevant internal components and members on the Hill, as well as security protocol at the White House complex for Mr. Meadows and the president.
And then you arrests.
You received another promotion in March 2020.
At that time, you became the principal aide to the new White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Is that right?
That's correct, sir.
What did a typical day look like for you in your work with Mr. Meadows?
It varied with what was going on.
We spent a lot of time on the Hill.
I spent time on the Hill independently, too, as I was his liaison for Capitol Hill.
We did a lot of presidential travel engagements, but mostly I was there to serve what the chief of staff needed.
And a lot of times what the chief of staff needed was a reflection of what the President's schedule is detailed to do that day.
So is it fair to say that you spoke regularly in your position, both with members of Congress and with senior members of the Trump administration?
That's a fair assessment, sir.
And would you say that in your work with Mr. Meadows, you are typically in contact with him and others in the White House throughout the day?
That's correct, sir.
Mr. Meadows and I were in contact.
Pretty much throughout every day.
Although so much of grave importance happens in the West Wing of the White House.
It's a quite a small building above me.
On the screen, you can see a map of the first floor of the West Wing of the White House.
On the right, you can see the president's Oval Office.
On the left.
The chief of staff's office suite within the chief of staff's office suite is the heart of the West Wing.
Was your desk, which was between the vice president's office, this Kirsten this office and the Oval Office.
HUTCHINSON Is this an accurate picture of where you were located?
It's a lot smaller than it looks.
Miss Hudson, this is a photo that shows the short distance between your office and the president's Oval Office.
And it only takes 5 to 10 seconds or so to walk down the hall from your office to the Oval Office.
Is that right?
Pursuant to the Section 5c8 of House Resolution 503, the chair recognizes gentlewoman from Wyoming, Ms.. Cheney, for questions.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, we will begin today with an exchange that first provided Ms.. Hutchinson a tangible sense of the ongoing planning for the events of January 6th.
On January 2nd, four days before the attack on our Capitol, President Trump's lead lawyer, Mr. Giuliani, was meeting with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others.
Ms.. Hutchinson, do you remember Mr. Giuliani meeting with Mr. Meadows on January 2nd, 2021?
He met with Mr. Meadows in the evening of January 2nd, 2021.
And we understand that you walked Mr. Giuliani out of the White House that night, and he talked to you about January 6th.
What you remember him saying.
As Mr. Giuliani and I were walking to his vehicles that evening, he looked at me and said something to the effect of cats, Are you excited for the sixth?
It's going to be a great day.
I remember looking at him saying, Rudy, could you explain what's happening on the sixth?
And he had responded something to the effect of, we're going to the Capitol.
It's going to be great.
The president's going to be there.
He's going to look powerful.
He's he's going to go the members.
He's going to be with the senators, talk to the chief about it.
Talk to the chief about it.
He knows about it.
And did you go back then up to the West Wing and tell Mr. Meadows about your conversation with Mr. Giuliani?
I did after Mr. Giuliani had left the campus that evening.
I went back up to our office and I found Mr. Meadows in his office on the couch.
He was scrolling through his phone.
I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, He's had an interesting conversation.
Rudy, Marc, sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.
He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of, there's a lot going on, guys, but I don't know.
Things might get real, real bad on January six.
Ms.. Hutchinson, Mr. Meadows is engaged in litigation with the committee to try to avoid testifying here.
What what was your reaction when he said to you, things might get real, real bad.
In the days before January 2nd?
I was apprehensive about the six.
I had heard general plans for a rally.
I had heard tentative movements to potentially go to the capital.
But when hearing Rudy's take on January six and then Mark's response, that was the first that evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared.
And nervous for what could happen on January six.
And I had a deeper concern for what was happening with the planning aspects of it.
Thank you, Mr. Jones.
And today we're going to be focusing primarily on the events of January 5th and sixth at the White House.
But to begin and to frame the discussion, I want to talk about a conversation that you had with Mr. John Ratcliffe, the director of National Intelligence, and you had this conversation in December of 2020.
Mr. Ratcliffe was nominated by President Trump to oversee U.S. intelligence, our U.S. intelligence community.
And before his appointment, Mr. Ratcliffe was a Republican member of Congress.
As you will see on this clip, Director Ratcliffe's comments in December of 2020 were prescient.
My understanding was Mr. Director Ratcliffe didn't want much to do, but the post-election period director felt that.
It wasn't something that the White House should be pursuing.
It felt it was dangerous for the president's legacy.
He had expressed to me that he was concerned that it could spiral out of control and.
Be dangerous either for our democracy or the way.
That things were going for the sex.
When you say.
It wasn't something the White House should be saying once the.
Trying to fight the results of the election.
Finding missing ballots pressuring.
Filing lawsuits in certain states where there didn't seem to be significant evidence and reaching out to state legislatures about that.
So pretty much the way that the White House is handling the postelection period, he felt that there could be dangers, repercussions.
In terms of precedent set for elections, for our democracy, for the six is something that we would consider.
So, Ms.. Hutchinson, now we're going to turn to certain information that was available before January 4th and what the Trump administration and the president knew about the potential for violence before January 6th.
On the screen you will see an email received by Acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue on January 4th from the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
Mr. Donoghue testified in our hearings last week.
The email identifies apparent planning by those coming to Washington on January six to, quote, occupy federal buildings and discussions of, quote, invading the Capitol building.
Here's what Mr. Donoghue said to us.
And we knew that if you have tens of thousands of variables, obsessive people showing up in Washington, D.C., that there was potential for violence.
The U.S. Secret Service was looking at similar information and watching the planned demonstrations.
In fact, their intelligence division sent several emails to White House personnel like Deputy Chief of Staff Tonio, Renato and the head of the president's protective detail, Robert Engle, including certain materials listing events like those on the screen.
The White House continued to receive updates about planned demonstrations, including information regarding the Proud Boys organizing and planning to attend events on January 6th.
Although Ms. Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for January 6th, she did note this.
I recall hearing the word oath keeper and hearing the word proud boys.
Closer to the planning of the January six rally, when Mr. Giuliani would be around.
On January 3rd, the Capitol Police issued a special event assessment.
In that document, the Capitol Police noted that the Proud Boys and other groups planned to be in Washington, D.C. on January 6th and indicated that, quote, Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the six.
Of course, we all know now that the Proud Boys showed up on January six, marched from the Washington Monument to the Capitol that day, and led the riotous mob to invade and occupy our Capitol.
Ms.. Hutchinson, I want to play you a clip of one of our meetings.
When you described the call on January 4th that you received from National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien on the same topic, potential violence on January 6th.
I received a call from Robert O'Brien, the national security adviser.
He had asked if he could speak with Mr. Meadows about potential violent words of violence that he was hearing that were potentially going to happen on the Hill on January six.
I had asked if he had connected with Tony or not because Tony or not.
I had a conversation with him with Mark about that topic.
Robert had said, I'll talk to Tony, and then I don't know if Robert ever connected with Mark about the issue.
Mr. Johnson, can you describe for us, Mr. Arnott, his responsibilities as deputy chief of staff?
The Deputy Chief of staff position at the White House for operations is arguably one of the most important positions that somebody can hold.
They're in charge of all security protocol for the campus and all presidential protectees, primarily the president and the first family.
But anything that requires security for any individual that has presidential protection, so the chief of staff or the national security adviser, as well as the vice president's team to Tony, would oversee all of that.
And he was the conduit for security protocol between White House staff and the United States Secret Service.
And you also described a brief meeting between Mr. Tornado and Mr. Meadows on the potential for violence.
The meeting was on January 4th.
They were talking about the potential for violence on January 6th.
Let's listen to a clip of that testimony.
Remember Mr. Renato had talked to him about intelligence reports.
I remember Mr. Renato coming in and saying that we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on this on the sixth.
You also told us about reports of violence and weapons at the Secret Service were receiving on the night of January 5th and throughout the day on January 6th.
Is that correct?
There are reports that police in Washington, D.C. had arrested several people with firearms or ammunition following a separate pro-Trump rally in Freedom Plaza on the evening of January 5th.
Are those some of the reports that you recall hearing about?
Of course, the world now knows that the people who attacked the Capitol on January 6th had many different types of weapons.
When a president speaks, the Secret Service typically requires those attending to pass through metal detectors known as magnetometers or mags for short.
The select committee has learned that people who willingly entered the enclosed area for President Trump's speech were screened so they could attend the rally at the Ellipse.
They had weapons and other items that were confiscated pepper spray knives, brass knuckles, tasers, body armor, gas masks, batons, blunt weapons.
And those were just from the people who chose to go through the security for the president's event on the Ellipse, not the several thousand members of the crowd who refused to go through the mags and watched from the lawn near the Washington Monument.
The Select Committee has learned about reports from outside the magnetometers and has obtained police radio transmissions identifying individuals with firearms, including a AR 15 near the Ellipse.
On the morning of January 6th.
There's an individual who's naturally maybe a white male about six feet tall and thin, build brown cowboy boots.
He's got jeans and a blue jean jacket.
And underneath that money jacket and the plane, it's also stock with Air 15.
He's been with a group of individuals, about 5 to 8, 5 to 8 other individuals.
Two of the individuals in that group at the base of the tree near the border.
Police wearing green fatigues.
And now he's about 95, 90 skinny jeans, white males, brown cowboy boots.
They had Glocks, now pistols in their waistband, 8736 with the message that subject weapon on his right hip and his injury motor one make sure he knows they have an elevated white in the trees outside of Constitution Avenue.
Look with a Don't Tread on me flag, American flag, facemask, cowboy boots, weapon on the white right side hip.
I got three.
Men walking down the street in fatigue.
What can I say, Poppy?
Well, I think that independent.
Air fifteens at 14th and independence.
As you saw in those e-mails, the first report that we showed we now know was sent in the 8:00 hour on January 6th.
This talked about people in the crowd wearing ballistic helmets and body armor, carrying radio equipment and military grade backpacks.
The second report we showed you on the screen was sent by the Secret Service in the 11 a.m. hour, and it addressed reports of a man with a rifle near the Ellipse.
Ms.. Hutchinson, in prior testimony, you describe for us a meeting in the White House around 10 a.m. in the morning of January 6th involving Chief of Staff Meadows, Antonio Rinaldo.
Were you in that meeting?
Let's listen to your testimony about that meeting and then we'll have some questions.
I think the last time we talked, you mentioned that some of the weapons that people had at the rally included flagpoles, oversize sticks or flagpoles and bear spray.
Is there anything else that you recall hearing about that and the people who had gathered in the attack?
I recall, Tony and having a conversation with Mark probably around 10 a.m., 10:15 a.m., where I remember Tony mentioning knives, guns in the form of pistols and rifles there spray body armor, spears and flagpoles.
Spears were one item, flagpoles were one item.
And then Tony had related to me something to the effect of and these I think people are fastening spears onto the ends of flagpoles.
Ms.. Hutchinson, here's a clip of your testimony regarding Mr. Meadow's response to learning that the rally attendees were armed that day.
What was Marc's reaction was met his reaction to this list of weapons that people had in the crowd.
When Tony and I went in to talk to Mark that morning.
Marcus sitting on his couch on his phone, which was something typical.
And I remember Tony just got right into it was like sorry to, you know, and informed him, like, this is how many people we have outside the mags right now.
These are the weapons that were known to have.
It's possible he was sent more weapons off that I just don't recall and gave him a brief but and concise explanation, but also fairly, fairly thorough.
And I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his.
So I remembered Tony finishing his explanation and it taking a few seconds for Mark to say his name play what I almost said.
Mark, you hear him and then Mark chime.
That was like, all right, anything else?
Still looking down at his phone.
And Tony looked at me and I looked at Tony and he said, No, sir.
Do you have any questions?
Like, what are you hearing?
And I looked at Tony and I was like, Ah, he just told you about what was happening down at the rallies.
And he was like, Yeah, I know.
And then he looked up and said, Have you talked to the president?
And Tony said, Yes, sir, he's where he's at.
All right, good.
He asked Tony if Tony had informed the president.
And Tony said yes, he had.
So, Miss Hutchinson, is it your understanding that Mr. Granato told the president about weapons at the rally on the morning of January six?
That's what Mr. Nader relayed to me.
And here's how you characterize Mr. Meadow's general response when people raised concerns about what could happen on January 6th.
So at the time, in the days leading up to the sex, there were lots of public reports about how things might go bad and the sex and even the potential for violence.
If I'm hearing you correctly.
What stands out to you is that Mr. Meadows did not share those concerns, or at least did not act on those concerns.
Did not act on those concerns would be accurate.
But other people raised them to to him, like in this exchange.
You mentioned at the start not a the aside.
We're going to show now an exchange of texts between you and deputy chief of staff or NADO.
And these text messages were exchanged while you were at the Ellipse.
In one text, you write.
But the crowd looks good from this vantage point, as long as we get the shot.
He was effing furious.
And the text messages also stress that President Trump kept mentioning the ATR, an off the record movement.
We're going to come back and ask you about that in a minute.
But could you tell us, first of all, who it is in a text who was furious to hear?
And that text that I was referring to was the president.
And why was he furious, Miss Hutchinson?
He was furious because he wanted the arena that we had on the Ellipse to be maxed out at capacity for all attendees.
The advance team had related to him that the mags were free flowing.
Everybody who wanted to come in had already come in.
But he still was angry about the extra space and wanted more people to come in.
And did you go to the rally in the presidential motorcade?
I was there, yes, in the motorcade.
And were you backstage with the president and other members of his staff and family?
And you told us, Ms.. Hutchinson, about particular comments that you heard while you were in the tent area.
When we were in the offstage announce area tent behind the stage.
He was very concerned about the shot, meaning the photograph that we would get because the rally space wasn't for one of the reasons which I've previously said, it was because he wanted it to be full and for people to not feel excluded because they had come forward to watch him at the rally.
And he felt the mags were at fault for not letting everybody in.
But another leading reason, and likely the primary reason is because he wanted it full and he was angry that we weren't letting people through the mags with weapons.
What the Secret Service deemed as weapons and or weapons.
But while they're in the offstage announce tent, I was part of a conversation I was in.
I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, you know, I don't even care that they have weapons.
They're not here to hurt me.
Take that F-ing bags away.
And they can march the capital from here.
Let the people and take that.
I think that the way.
Just to be clear, Mr. Hutchinson, is it your understanding that the president wanted to take the mags away and said that the armed individuals were not there to hurt him?
That's a fair assessment.
The issue wasn't with the amount of space available in the official rally area only, but instead that people did not want to have to go through the mags.
Let's listen to a portion of what you told us about that.
In this particular instance, it wasn't the capacity of our space.
It was the mags and the people that didn't want to come through.
And that's what Tony had been trying to relate to him that morning.
You know, it's not the issues that we encountered on the campaign.
We have enough space or they don't want to come in right now.
They they have weapons that they don't want confiscated by the Secret Service.
And they're fine on the Mall.
They can see you on the mall there.
They want to march straight to the Capitol from the Mall.
The president apparently wanted all attendees inside the official rally space and repeatedly said, quote, They're not here to hurt me.
And just to be clear, so he was told again in that conversation or was he told again in that conversation that people couldn't come through the mags because they had weapons?
And that people and he his response was to say they can march to the Capitol from from the Ellipse.
Something to the effect of take that I think miles away.
They're not here to hurt me.
Let them in.
Let my people in.
They can march the Capitol after the rallies are over.
They can march from.
They can march from the Ellipse.
Take the thing miles away.
Then they can march to the Capitol.
Hutchinson What we saw in those clips were playing were photos provided by the National Archives showing the president in the offstage tent before his speech on the Ellipse.
You were in some of those photos as well.
And I just want to confirm that that is when you heard the president say the people with weapons weren't there to hurt him and that he wanted the Secret Service to remove the magnetometers.
And the photos that you displayed, we were standing towards the front of the tent with the TVs really close to where he would walk out to go on to the stage.
These conversations happened 2 to 3 minutes before you took the stage that morning.
Let's reflect on that for a moment.
President Trump was aware that a number of the individuals in the crowd had weapons and were wearing body armor.
And here's what President Trump instructed the crowd to do.
We're going to walk down and I'll be there with you.
We're going to walk down.
We're going to walk down anyone you want.
But I think right here, we're going to walk down to the Capitol.
And the crowd, as we know, did proceed to the capital.
It soon became apparent to the Secret Service, including the Secret Service teams in the crowd, along with White House staff.
That security at the Capitol would not be sufficient.
I've had two or three phone conversations with Mr. Granato when we were at the Ellipse.
And then I had four men on Mr. Meadows detail with me in between.
Those individuals and then a few other the bodies on the ground, just Secret Service taking advance.
They were getting notifications through their radios and or not on one phone conversation and called me and said, make sure the chief knows that they're getting close to the Capitol.
It's having trouble stacking bodies.
And Ms.. Hutchinson, when you said they were having trouble stacking bodies, did you mean that?
Law enforcement at the Capitol needed more people to defend the Capitol from the rioters.
It was becoming clear to us and to the Secret Service that Capitol Police officers were getting overrun at the security barricades outside of the Capitol building.
And they were having short they were short people to defend the building against the rioters.
And you mentioned that Mr. Varnado was conveying this to you because he wanted you to tell Mr. Meadows.
So did you did you tell Mr. Meadows that people were getting closer to the Capitol and that Capitol Police was having difficulty?
After I had the conversation with Mr. Meadows.
Mr.. After I had the conversation with Mr. Renato, I went to have the discussion with Mr. Meadows.
He was in a secure vehicle at the time, making a call.
So when I had gone over to the car, I went to open the door to let him know and he had immediately shot it.
I don't know who he was speaking with.
It wasn't something that he regularly did, and especially when I would go over to give him information.
So I was a bit taken aback, but I didn't think much of it and thinking that I was would be able to have the conversation with him a few moments later.
And were you able to have that conversation a few moments later?
Probably about 20 to 25 minutes later.
There was another period of between where he shut the door again, and then when he finally got out of the vehicle, we had the conversation.
But at that point, there was a backlog of information that he should have been made aware of.
And so you opened the door to the control car and Mr. Meadows pulled it shut?
And he did that two times?
And when you finally were able to give Mr. Meadows the information about the violence at the Capitol, what was his reaction?
He almost had a lack of reaction.
I remember him saying.
Something to the effect of.
How much longer does the president have left in this speech?
Again, much of this information about the potential for violence was known or learned before the onset of the violence.
Early enough for President Trump to take steps to prevent it.
He could, for example, have urged the crowd at the Ellipse not to march to the Capitol.
He could have condemned the violence immediately once it began.
Or he could have taken multiple other steps.
But as we will see today and in later hearings, President Trump had something else in mind.
One other question at this point, Miss Hutchinson, were you aware of concerns that White House counsel Pat Cipollone or Eric Hirschmann had about the language President Trump used in his Ellipse speech?
There were many discussions the morning of the six about the rhetoric of the speech that day.
In my conversations with Mr. Hershman.
He had relayed that.
We would be foolish to include language that had been included at the President's request which headlines along to the effect of.
Fight for Trump.
We're going to march the capital.
I'll be there with you.
Fight for me.
Fight for what we're doing.
Fight for the movement.
Things about the vice president at the time to both Mr. Hershman and White House counsel's office were urging the speechwriters to not include that language for legal concerns and also for the optics of what it could portray the president wanting to do that day.
And we just heard the president say that he would be with his supporters as they marched to the Capitol, even though he did not end up going, he certainly wanted to.
Some have questioned whether President Trump genuinely plans to come here to the Capitol on January 6th.
In his book, Mark Meadows falsely wrote that after President Trump gave his speech on January 6th, he told Mr. Meadows that he was, quote, speaking, speaking metaphorically about the walk to the Capitol, as you will see.
Donald Trump was not speaking metaphorically, as we heard earlier.
Rudy Giuliani told Ms.. Hutchinson that Mr. Trump plans to travel to the Capitol on January 6th.
I want to pause for just a moment to ask you, Ms.. Hutchinson, to explain some of the terminology you will hear today.
We've heard you use two different terms to describe plans for the president's movement to the Capitol or anywhere else.
One of those is a scheduled movement and another one is OCR.
Could you describe for us what each of those means is scheduled?
Presidential movement is on his official schedule.
It's notified to the press and to a wide range of staff that will be traveling with him.
It's known to the public, known to the Secret Service, and they're able to coordinate the movement days in advance.
And off the record movement is confined to the knowledge of a very, very small group of advisers and staff.
Typically, a very small group of staff would travel with him mostly that are just included in the national security package.
You can pull an off off the record movement together and.
Less than an hour.
It's a way to kind of circumvent having.
To release it to the press, if that's the goal of it or.
To not have to have as many security parameters put in place ahead of time to make the movement happen.
And let's turn back now to the president's plans to travel to the capital on January 6th.
We know that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was concerned about the legal implications of such a trip, and he agreed with the Secret Service that it shouldn't happen.
Is Hutchinson did you have any conversations with Pat Cipollone about his concerns about the president going to the Capitol on January six.
On January 3rd?
Mr. CIPOLLONE He had approached me knowing that Mark had raised the prospect of going up to the Capitol on January six.
Mr. Cipollone and I had a brief, private conversation where he said to me, We need to make sure that this doesn't happen.
This would be a legally a terrible idea for us.
We have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day.
And he then urged me.
To continue relaying that to Mr. Meadows, because it's my understanding that Mr. Scipione thought that Mr. Meadows was indeed pushing this along with the President.
And we understand, Mr. Johnson, that you also spoke to Mr. Scipione on the morning of the sixth as you were about to go to the rally on the Ellipse.
And Mr. Scipione said something to you like Make sure the movement to the Capitol does not happen.
Is that correct?
I saw Mr. Scipione right before I walked out onto West Exact that morning and Mr. Sepuloni said something to the effect of Please make sure we don't go up to the capital city.
Keep in touch with me.
We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.
And do you remember which crimes Mr. Scipione was concerned with.
In the days leading up to the sex?
We had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count.
Let's hear about some of those concerns that you mentioned earlier in one of your interviews with us.
Having a private conversation late in the afternoon, a third or the fourth that Pat was concerned, it would look like we were obstructing justice or obstructing the Electoral College count.
And I apologize for probably not being so very far with my legal terms here, but that it would look like you're obstructing what was happening on Capitol Hill.
And he was also worried that it would look like we were inciting a riot or encouraging a riot to erupt on the Capitol at the Capitol.
In fact, in the days before January six and on January six itself, President Trump expressed to multiple White House aides that he wanted to go to the capital after his speech.
Here's what various White House aides have told the committee about the president's desire to go to the capital.
Did the president tell you this, that he wanted to speak at the Capitol?
During the meeting in the dining room, did the idea of the president proceeding or walking to the Capitol on the six after his speech come up?
Walking to the Capitol?
Driving to the Capitol.
It came up.
How did it come up and what was discussed?
You brought it up, you said, I want to go down to the capital.
What about him marching to the Capitol on the sixth?
Tell us about that.
It's kind of a general thing.
I mean, to get into the specifics of it, I, I was aware of a desire of the President to potentially.
March to the OR accompany the rally attendees to the Capitol.
When did you first hear about this idea of the president accompanying rally attendees to the Capitol on the sixth?
Well, this was at the six.
This was during the and after he finished his remarks.
When the president said that he would be going to the Capitol during his speech on the Ellipse, the Secret Service scrambled to find a way for him to go.
We know this from witnesses and the Secret Service, also from messages among staff on the president's National Security Council.
The NSC staff were monitoring the situation in real time.
And you can see how the situation evolved in the following chat log that the committee has obtained.
As you can see, NSC staff believed that mogul the president was, quote, going to the Capitol and, quote, they are finding the best route.
From these chats.
We also know the staff learned of the attack on the Capitol in real time when President Trump left the Ellipse stage at 110.
The staff knew that rioters had invaded the inaugural stage and Capitol Police were calling for all available officers to respond.
When Republican leader Kevin McCarthy heard the president say he was going to the Capitol.
He called you, Mrs. Hutchinson?
Isn't that right?
And in this text message, you told Tony Bernardo, quote, McCarthy just called me, too.
And do you guys think you're coming to my office?
Tell us about the call that day with Leader McCarthy during the president's speech on the Ellipse.
I was still in the tent behind the stage.
And when you're behind the stage, you can't really hear what's going on in front of you.
So when Mr. McCarthy called me with this information, I answered the call and he sounded a rush, but also frustrated and angry at me.
I was confused because I didn't know what the president had just said.
He then explained, the president is said he's marching to the Capitol.
You told me this whole week you aren't coming up here.
Why would you lie to me?
I said, I'm not lying.
I wasn't lying to you, sir.
I were not going to the Capitol.
And he said, well he just said it on stage cos they figure it out.
Don't come up here.
I said I'll, I'll, I'll run the traps on this and I'll, I'll shoot you attacks.
I can assure you we're not coming up to the Capitol.
We've already made that decision.
You press a little bit more believing me, but I think frustrated that the president had said that.
And we ended the phone conversation after that.
I called Mr. Granato to reconfirm that we weren't going to the capital and which was also in our text messages.
I sent Mr. McCarthy another text telling him the affirmative that we were not going up to the Capitol, and he didn't respond after that.
And we understand, Mr. Hutchinson, that the plans for the president to come to the Capitol had included discussions at some point about what the president would do when he came up to the Capitol on January 6th.
Let's look at a clip of one of your interviews discussing that issue with the committee.
When you were talking about a scheduled movement, did anyone say what the president wanted to do when he got here?
Not that I can specifically remember.
I remember I remember hearing a few different ideas discussed with Cynthia McKinney, Scott Perry, Mark and Rudy Giuliani.
I don't know which conversations were elevated to the president.
I don't know what he personally wanted to do.
He went up to the Capitol that day.
You know, I know that there were discussions about him having another speech outside of the Capitol before going in.
I know that there is a conversation about him going into the House chamber at one point.
As we've all just heard in the days leading up to January 6th, on the day of the speech, both before and during and after the rally speech, President Trump was pushing his staff to arrange for him to come up here to the Capitol during the electoral vote count.
Let's turn now to what happened in the president's vehicle when the Secret Service told him he would not be going to the Capitol after his speech.
First, here is the president's motorcade leaving the Ellipse after his speech on January 6th.
Miss Hutchinson, when you return to the White House in the motorcade after the president's speech, where did you go?
When I returned to the White House, I walked upstairs towards the chief of staff's office, and I noticed Mr. Renato lingering outside of the office.
Once we had made eye contact, he quickly waved me to go into his office, which was just across the hall from mine.
When I went in, he shut the door.
I noticed Bobby Engle, who is the head of Mr. Trump's security detail, sitting in a chair looking somewhat discombobulated and a little lost.
I looked at Tony and he said, Did you hear what happened in the piece?
He said, No, Tony, I just got back.
Toni proceeded to tell me that.
When the president got in the beast, he was under the impression from Mr. Meadows that the off the record movement to the capital was still possible and likely to happen, but that Bobby had more information.
So once the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol.
And when Bobby had relayed to him, we're not you don't have the assets to do it.
It's not secure.
We're going back to the West Wing.
The president had very strong, very angry response to that.
Tony described him as being irate.
The president said something to the effect of, I'm the acting president.
Take me up to the Capitol now.
To which Bobby responded, Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.
The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel.
Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel.
We're going back to the West Wing.
We're not going to the capital.
Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engle and Mr..
When Mr. Renato had recounted this story to me.
He had motioned towards his clavicles.
And was Mr. Engle in the room, as Mr. Bernardo told you this story?
Did Mr. Engle correct or disagree with any part of this story for Mr. Tornado?
Mr. Engle did not correct or disagree with any part of the story.
Did Mr. Engel or Mr. Granato ever after that tell you that what Mr. Renato had just said was untrue?
Neither Mr. Rinaldo nor Mr. Engle told me ever that it was untrue.
And despite this altercation, this physical altercation.
During the ride back to the White House, President Trump still demanded to go to the capital.
Here's what Kayleigh MCENANY, the White House press secretary at the time, wrote in her personal notes and told the committee about President Trump's desire to go to the capital after returning to the White House.
When you, Rosa Parks, wanted to walk to the capital, was that based solely on what the president said during his speech or anything that he or anybody else said afterwards?
So to the best of my recollection, I believe when we got back to the White House, he said he wanted to physically walk with the marchers.
And according to my notes, he then said he'd be fine with just writing the piece.
But so that's my recollection.
He wanted to be a part of the march in some fashion.
And just for the record, the piece refers to the presidential limousine.
President Trump did not go to the capital that day.
We understand that he blamed Mark Meadows for that.
So prior to leaving the rally site, when he got off the stage and everybody was making the movement back to the motorcade, I had overheard Mr. Meadows say to him then, as I had prior to Mr. Trump taking the stage that morning, that he was still working on getting an off the record movement to the Capitol.
So Mr. Trump took the stage.
He was under the impression by Mr. Meadows that it was still possible when he got off the stage.
I had relayed to Mr. Meadows that I had another conversation with Tony that was still not possible.
Mr. Meadows said, okay.
And then as they proceeded to go to the motorcade and Mr. Meadows had reiterated, We're going to work on our talks, Bobby, Bobby has more information.
Mark got into his vehicle.
To my understanding, Trump got into the beast, and after we all arrived back at the White House later in the day and had been related to me by a mark that the president wasn't happy, that Bobby didn't pull it off for him, and that Mark didn't work hard enough to get the.
Movement on the books.
The physical altercation that Ms.. Hutchinson described in the presidential vehicle was not the first time that the president had become very angry about issues relating to the election.
On December one, 2020, Attorney General Barr said in an interview that the Department of Justice had not found evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election.
Ms. Hutchinson how did the President react to hearing that news?
Around the time that I understand the AP article went live.
I remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway, so I poked my head out of the office.
I saw the valet walking towards our office.
He had said, Get the chief down to the dining room.
The president wants him.
So Mark went down to the dining room, came back to the office a few minutes later.
After Mark had returned, I left the office and went down to the dining room and I noticed that the doors propped open in the valet was inside the dining room, changing the tablecloth off of the dining room table.
He motions for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantel and the TV, where I first noticed there is ketchup dripping down the wall and there's a shattered porcelain plate on the floor.
The valet had articulated that the president.
Was extremely angry at the Attorney General's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall.
Which was causing them to have to clean up.
So I grabbed a towel and started wiping the catch up off of the wall to help the valet out.
And he said something to the effect of, He's really ticked off about this.
I would stay clear of him for right now.
He's really, really ticked off about this right now.
And Miss Hutchinson, was this the only instance that you are aware of where the president threw dishes?
And are there other instances in the dining room that you recall where he expressed his anger?
There were there were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or.
And Ms.. Hutchinson, Attorney General Barr described to the committee the president's angry reaction when he finally met with President Trump.
And I said, look, I. I didn't know that you're dissatisfied with me and I'm glad to offer my resignation and and pounded the table very hard and everyone sort of jumped.
And he said, Accept it.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve.
Don't want to reserve the chair, request those in the hearing room to remain seated until the Capitol Police have escorted our witness from the room.
Pursuant to the order of the Committee of today, the Chair declares the committee in recess for a period of approximately 10 minutes.
And we have heard, no doubt, the most explosive testimony of these public hearings so far.
Hearings into the attack on the Capitol on January six, 2021.
Testimony from that young woman, Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a special assistant to the president and an executive assistant to the President, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
She testified that the president wanted so badly to go to the Capitol on January the sixth after the rally on the Mall, that he tried to grab the steering wheel in the president's car, security car.
They called it nicknamed The Beast.
And when his own security aide, a man named Mr. Engel, told him he, Bobby Engel, told him he couldn't do that, he grabbed at Mr. Engel physically in the car.
This was relayed to Cassidy Hutchinson just moments after it happened, just after the rally.
And we heard after that that on another day when the president heard that the attorney general had had said to a reporter that he did not see evidence of massive fraud in the 2020 election.
The president was so angry that he threw a plate, a dish against the wall.
Ketchup was all over the place of the Cassidy Hutchinson.
And I guess the president's valet were involved in cleaning up the room.
It's it's it's been essentially one remarkable episode after another.
The language the president used, the actions of the language the former president use, former President Trump, the actions that he took before the rally, during and after.
And then, no question, the the her testimony that when she told the president's chief of staff that people were identified with weapons, with with flagpoles that had spears on the end, guns and so forth, he showed no reaction.
And and and the rest is history.
Those people left the rally and they headed for the Capitol.
I want to bring in now analyst who are joining us listening closely to these hearings, Victoria Nurse.
She's a Georgetown University law professor, former chief counsel to then Vice President Joe Biden and Jameel Jaffer.
He's a law professor at George Mason University and former counsel to then President George H.W.
Jameel Jaffer, I'm going to come to you.
Just what are you thinking as you listen to Ms.. Hutchinson?
Well, Judy, I mean, it's obviously astounding testimony.
And I recall, you know, President Reagan, who wouldn't take his jacket off in the Oval Office for fear of disrespecting the office.
And here you have a president who, you know is throwing dishes, throwing tablecloths over because he's angry about what his own attorney general said and about not being able to go to the Capitol when his Secret Service tells him it's not safe for him to go trying to grab it.
His Secret Service leads throat.
I mean, it you know, it makes prior stories about things you heard about in the White House, whether it was the Nixon White House or other White Houses pale in comparison when you hear the behavior of the former president with respect to his own staff, his own Senate confirmed appointees, his own administration, the people responsible for his own security and the security of of the people around him.
That is certainly the some of the most arresting testimony we've been hearing.
Victoria Nurse The other piece of what we've been hearing is how the president and the people around him knew days in advance that the January six rally was going to turn into a violent attack on the Capitol.
We heard that and in comments from the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to Ms.. Hutchinson.
I think for most of the hearings, until these shocking and dispiriting, you know, revelations about throwing dishes and fights in the presidential limousine was was about knowledge.
What did the president know and when did he know it?
And it's pretty clear from the beginning of the hearing that Cassidy, Hutchinson's boss, knew that there was going to be violence on January 6th and that her conversation with Rudy Giuliani also suggests that it was going to be wild, it was going to be very, very bad, she said.
At one point, Mr. Meadows said that to her and also that they knew it was illegal because Mr. Scipione, the White House counsel, had indicated that they were going to be charged with all sorts of crimes too.
That was what she testified to right on the day of January six, when he tried to prevent the president from using incendiary rhetoric.
Congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardin has been inside the hearing room and she joins me now along with White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez, who's been watching all of this as well.
Lisa, you have been in the room.
A lot of I think it's fair to say, suspense leading up to today's testimony.
Tell us about what you heard and what you saw in the hearing room.
Going into this.
Highly unusual, very kind of late called hearing.
A lot of us were wondering what is the urgency?
Why call this hearing without notice?
Does the committee have the goods for what was what they were billing as?
Very important testimony.
And clearly we heard, I think, some of the probably biggest headlines of all of these hearings today.
I'm furiously texting with my Republican sources at the moment to get their reactions to this picture of a President Trump completely out of control, the antithesis of what he tries to present in public as a man in control, a man who makes all of the decisions.
Instead, this is a picture of a man who was not only in control himself, assaulting his own security director and demanding that he go to the Capitol with a group of people he knew was armed and that he was happy to go to the Capitol.
What's interesting to me, Judy, is I think everyone viewing this special right now is ahead of the curve.
I think many members of Congress may not be watching this right now.
Republican members I'm talking to right now, some very high ranking one are telling me they're not watching.
What am I missing is a question mark.
And I said, you should probably get briefed on this.
This is significant testimony.
We'll get briefed for certain and read the transcript and watch the hearings in total because of the magnitude and the significance of what Mr. Hutchinson has been testifying.
Laura Barron-Lopez covering the White House for us.
I think we we maybe we want to remind everybody watching, you know, how how plugged in this young woman was at what she may have been, only what we think we're calculating maybe 23, 24 years old at the time.
But she was witness to what was going on in the inner inner circle at the White House in those days leading up to the rally.
And she and the day of the January 6th attack.
And she has information that no one else has provided.
That's right, Judy.
She has so much information.
And Cassidy Hutchinson was a senior aide to chief of Staff Mark Meadows, chief of staff to former President Trump.
And Congresswoman Liz Cheney made very clear at the beginning of this hearing the resumé that Hutchinson has, which is that even before she joined the Trump White House, she interned for Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
She interned for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
And she is a Republican through and through.
She went on to work at the White House.
She was in a lot of these meetings.
She was daily she testified to the committee today that daily, almost all day long, she was in communication with Mark Meadows.
We're watching the hearing room that the committee chair, Bennie Thompson, had said they would take a ten minute break.
They pretty much tried to stick to that schedule.
As we watch the hearing room, I want to come back to you, Jameel Jaffer, and ask you, in terms of the president's responsibility, the president's culpability here in in in not only knowing about, but encouraging the attack on the Capitol.
How much how many more pieces of the puzzle?
How has this witness been able to provide?
Interesting piece of testimony that the witness that Ms.. Hutchinson provided was the fact that the President, when he was talking about his desire to fill the rally area, the rally arena, as she described it with so many people, was that he was aware that people weren't being let in because they had weapons.
And he said, get rid of the mags.
They're not here to hurt me, you know.
And so that suggests that he understood they had weapons.
They might be there to hurt somebody, just not him, that he was safe, you know.
And then he also knew they were going to march the capital.
And so, you know, it suggests a very clear understand his heart that these people were arm.
They were not a threat to him.
They may be a threat to others and that they planned to murder capital.
That to me is damning evidence of what the president knew and what he thought before he went on stage and said, let's go to the capital.
I'm coming with you.
And Victoria Nurse, what else are you hearing?
You can comment on that.
And anything else you're hearing that is is just part of the evidence that this committee is providing to the public about former President Trump's role in this attack.
It's very clear that he knew that the crowd was violent.
And so because they weren't coming in with the max, he said.
Let them bags.
You know, let them come in.
And he said, get rid of these obstructions.
And so he knew that the crowd was violent.
What I would like to know, though, is, was this planned and how was this plan and was it always going to be violent?
So the national security director, we heard some testimony today, was worried about this in December.
So if you're a lawyer, you're looking at this and saying, well, was this how much was this about a prior conspiracy planning as opposed to something spontaneous that might have happened on January 4th or fifth or sixth?
Or surprise them?
It sounds as if there's a fair amount of evidence still out there that we have not heard that individuals knew of this violence and the potential for violence long before January, the beginning of January even.
So that's what I'm looking for as we move forward.
And we heard we did hear victory or some of that when this Hutchinson testified about what Rudy Giuliani said to her.
He had been at a meeting in the White House.
She walked with him out to his car and he said to her, you're going to want to be there.
Words to that effect on January 6th.
It's going to be it's going to be great.
I wrote down, he said, we are going to the Capitol.
It's going to be a great a great day.
And she queried him on what that meant.
And she went on to say, because she had been hearing in the days leading up to that that there were things being planned that what that worried her and that might turn out to be dangerous.
I mean she Jameel Jaffer I mean, she expressed her, you know, that she was having concerns at that point to.
Well, Judy, I think it's clear that a lot of people in the White House complex, the lawyers, the the Secret Service, the president's close personal aides, were very concerned about the potential violence that was communicated among the members of the staff and the team, that there was concerns about violence.
That is, though, it's worth noting, you know, a pace apart from conspiracy to actually engage in violence.
I don't think we've seen any direct testimony suggesting that there was that kind of conspiracy.
I think that, you know, that's obviously what people are looking for.
I don't we've seen that.
We've definitely seen concerns, fears, worries, people excited about the president going, people very concerned of the president going and what that might do and what legal jeopardy that might cause.
But I haven't seen testimony yet that suggests that there was a plan or an effort by the White House to plan or plot this sort of thing.
Knowledge is one thing.
Planning, plotting, conspiring a different thing.
And I don't think we've seen that yet.
Obviously, very, very troubling evidence given very, very concerned things about the president as a person, as a leader, what he did, what he knew, particularly those moments on that stage when he knew the crowd was armed and encouraged them to go to the capital.
That's obviously deeply troubling.
The prior stuff, though, I don't think we've seen testimony yet showing a conspiracy.
Although we did hear Cassidy Hutchinson say that she had heard conversation around the White House mentioning the Oath Keepers, maybe the proud boys conversations about these groups that it is now known they were planning something for January 6th.
And the fact that there was any conversation in the White House does raise questions.
We're looking keeping an eye on the hearing room.
I believe they're a door is open.
So we're waiting for the witness.
A witness and maybe Ms.. Hutchinson, again to come to come back in.
It's notable there's enough concern about security that the committee has that you heard Chairman Thompson say as they went to a break that everyone should stay seated to make sure that Ms.. Hutchinson could be safely escorted out of the room.
We haven't heard that that I think extent of security mentioned for previous witnesses, it's been more of a courtesy.
But today we now there's Cassidy Hutchinson walking back into the into the room, followed presumably by her attorney or her attorneys.
We are told in the last few days she she changed her attorney.
We are waiting to hear more information on that.
And there you see the chairman of the committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, the vice chair, Congresswoman Liz Cheney.
And it looks like they are getting ready to start again.
A committee will be in order.
She recognizes the old woman from Wyoming.
Vice Chair Cheney.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Before we turn to what Ms.. Hutchinson saw and heard in the White House during the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6th, let's discuss certain communications White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had on January 5th.
President Trump's associate, Roger Stone, attended rallies during the afternoon in the evening of January 5th in Washington, D.C.. On January 5th and sixth, Mr. Stone was photographed with multiple members of the Oath Keepers who were allegedly serving as his security detail.
As we now know, multiple members of that organization have been charged with or pled guilty to crimes associated with January 6th.
Mr. Stone has invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination before this committee.
General Michael Flynn has also taken the fifth before this committee.
Mr. Stone previously had been convicted of other federal crimes unrelated to January six.
General Flynn had pleaded guilty to a felony charge, also predating and unrelated to January six.
President Trump pardoned General Flynn just weeks after the presidential election and in July of 2020, he commuted the sentence.
Roger Stone was to serve.
The night before January six, President Trump instructed his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to contact both Roger Stone and Michael Flynn regarding what would play out the next day.
Miss Hutchinson, is it your understanding that President Trump asked Mark Meadows to speak with Roger Stone and General Flynn on January 5th?
That is my understanding.
And Miss Hutchinson, is it your understanding that Mr. Meadows called Mr. Stone on the Fifth?
I'm under the impression that Mr. Meadows did complete both a call to Mr. Stone and General Flynn the evening of the Fifth.
And do you know what they talked about that evening?
Ms.. Hutchinson I'm not sure.
Is it your understanding that Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Eastman and others had set up what has been called, quote, a war room at the Willard Hotel on the night of the Fifth?
I was aware of that the night of the fifth.
And do you know if Mr. Meadows ever intended to go to the Willard Hotel on the night of the fifth?
Mr. Meadows had a conversation with me where he wanted me to work with Secret Service on a movement from the White House to the board hotel so he could attend the meeting or meetings with Mr. Giuliani and his associates in the war room.
And what was your view as to whether or not Mr. Meadows should go to the Willard that night?
I had made it clear to Mr. Meadows that I didn't believe it was a smart idea for him to go to the word hotel that night.
I wasn't sure everything that was going on at the Willard Hotel, although I knew enough about what Mr. Giuliani and his associates were pushing during this period.
I didn't think that it was something appropriate for the White House chief of staff to attend or to consider involvement.
And I made that clear to Mr. Meadows.
Throughout the afternoon.
He mentioned a few more times going up to the Ward Hotel that evening and then eventually drop the subject the night of the fifth and said that he would dial in instead.
So General Flynn has appeared before this committee and when he appeared before our committee, he took the Fifth.
Let's briefly view a clip of General Mike Flynn taking the Fifth Amendment.
General Flynn, do you believe the violence on January six was justified?
Could you repeat the question, please?
General Flynn, do you believe the violence on January six was justified?
So can I get clarification?
Is that a moral question?
You, you, me?
The question I'm asking both.
Do you believe the violence on January six was justified morally?
Take the Fifth.
You believe the violence on January six was justified legally?
General Flynn, do you believe in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America?
Let's move on now to January six and the conduct of Donald Trump and Mark Meadows during the attack on the Capitol.
Hutchinson I'd like now for us to listen to a description, your description of what transpired in the West Wing during the attack.
For context, in this clip, you describe the time frame starting at about 2 p.m..
So I remember Mark being alone in his office for quite some time.
And I know we've spoken about Ben Williamson going in at one point and I don't personally remember Ben going and I don't doubt that he had gone in, but I remember him being alone in his office for most of the afternoon around 2:00 to 5:00 to two or five.
You know, we were watching the TV and I could see that the rioters were getting closer and closer to the capital.
Mark still hadn't popped out of his office or said anything about it.
So that's when I went into his office.
I saw that he was sitting on his couch on a cell phone, same as the morning where he was just kind of scrolling and typing.
I said, Hey, are you watching the TV chief?
You can see it.
But I didn't know if he was really paying attention.
Watching the TV, it was like, Yeah, the writers are getting really close.
So we talked to the president.
He said, no, he wants to be alone right now, still looking at his phone.
So I start to get frustrated because, you know, I sort of felt like I was watching him.
This is not a great comparison, but a bad car accident was about to happen where you can't stop it, but you want to be able to do something.
And I just remember I remember thinking in that moment, Mark needs to snap out of this.
And I don't know how to snap him out of this for him.
He needs to care.
And I just remember I blurted out, I said, Martin or Jim's out right now.
And he looked up at me.
At that point.
I said, Jim.
I said, Marcus.
He was on the floor a little while ago giving a floor speech.
Did you listen?
Are the hours.
It was real good.
You like it?
And I said, Yeah.
Do you know where he's at right now?
He said, No, I haven't heard from him.
I thought you might want to check in with him, Mark.
And remember pointing at the TV and the rioters are getting close.
They might get in.
And he looked at me and said something to the effect of, All right, I'll give him a call.
Not long after the rioters broke into the Capitol.
You described what happened with White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
No more than a minute.
A minute and a half later, I see Pat Cipollone barreling down the hallway towards our office and rush right in.
Looked at me, said, Is Mark in his office?
And I said, Yes.
He just looked at me and started shaking his head.
And whenever open, Mark's office door stood there with the door propped open and said Something to Mark is still sitting on his phone.
I remember glancing and he's still sitting on his phone.
And I remember Pat saying to him something to the effect of the writers have gotten to the capital Mark.
We need to go down and see the president now.
And Mark looked up at and say he doesn't want to do anything.
Pat and Pat said something to the effect of and very clearly had said this to mark something to the effect of Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your F-ing hands.
This is getting out of control.
I'm going down there.
And at that point, Mark set up from his couch, both his phones in his hand.
He had his glasses on.
So he walked out with Pat.
He brought this rose on my desk to let me know if Jim calls.
And they walked up or down to the dining room.
A few minutes later, Representative Jordan called back.
A couple minutes later, so likely around between 215 to 25.
Another tweet went out at 224.
I don't remember if I was there when the tweet went out or if it happened right afterwards.
But Jim had called.
I answered the phone, said 1/2, you know, it was I guess he knew it was.
And I introduced myself that I, I don't remember if he told my cell phone or if he had called one of Mark's, but I asked if I was one checkmarks on the whole, I'm going to go on the vote.
And he said, okay.
So I went down.
I asked the valet if Mark was in the dining room, probably said yes.
I opened the door to the dining room, briefly, stepped in to get Mark's attention, showed him the phone like flipped the phone his way so he could see it, said Jim Jordan.
He had stepped to where I was standing there, holding the door open, took the phone, talking to Jim with the door still propped open.
So I took a few steps back, so it probably was two feet from Mark.
He was standing in the doorway going into the Oval Office dining room.
They had a brief conversation and in the crossfires I heard briefly like what they were talking about in the background.
I had heard conversations in the Oval Dining Room, the at that point talking about the hanging Mike Pence chants.
That clip ended, Ms.. Hutchinson, with you, recalling that you heard the president, Mr. Meadows, and the White House counsel discussing the hanging Mike Pence chants.
And then you described for us what happened next.
Wasn't until Marc hung up the phone, handed it back to me.
I went back to my desk a couple of minutes later.
Him and Pat came back, possibly Eric Hershman, too.
I'm pretty sure Eric Hershman was there.
But I'm I'm confident it was part that was there.
I remember saying something to the effect of, Mark, we need to do something more.
They're literally calling for the vice president to be acting home.
And Mark had responded something to the effect of, you heard him.
He thinks Mike deserves it.
He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.
To which Pat said something, this is acting crazy.
We need to be doing something more.
Briefly stepped into Mark's office, and when Mark had said something, the markets said something to the effect of he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.
Knowing what I had heard briefly in the dining room coupled with pot discussing the hanging Mike Pence chants in the lobby of our office.
And then Mark's response I understood there to be the rioters in the Capitol that were chanting for the Vice President to be hung.
Let me pause here on this point.
As rioters chanted, Hang Mike Pence, the president of the United States.
Said that, quote, Mike deserves it and that those rioters were not doing anything wrong.
This is a sentiment that he has expressed at other times as well.
In an interview with ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, President Trump was asked about the supporters chanting Hang Mike Pence last year.
Instead of condemning them, the former president defended them.
Saying Hang Mike because it's it's common sense.
It's common sense that.
You're supposed to protect.
How can you, if you know a vote is fraudulent?
How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?
President Trump's view that the rioters were not doing anything wrong and that, quote, Mike deserved it helps us to understand why the president did not ask the rioters to leave the Capitol for multiple hours.
In fact, he put this tweet out at 2:24 p.m.. Ms.. Hutchinson, do you recall seeing this tweet in which the president said the vice president did not have the courage to do what needed to be done?
Ms.. Hutchinson, what was your reaction when you saw this tweet?
As a staffer that works.
To always represent the administration to the best of my ability.
And to showcase the good things that he had done for the country.
I remember feeling frustrated and disappointed and really it felt personal.
I was really sad.
As an American.
I was disgusted.
It was unpatriotic.
It was un-American.
We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.
And it was something that was really hard in that moment to digest, knowing what I've been hearing down the hall in the conversations that were happening.
Seeing that tweet come up and knowing what was happening on the Hill.
And it's something that I it's still I still struggle to work through the emotions of that.
The sessions that we have also spoken to multiple other White House staff about their reaction to Donald Trump's 224 tweet condemning Mike Pence for not having the courage to refuse to count electoral votes.
An act that would have been illegal.
Matthew Pottinger, a former Marine intelligence officer who served in the White House for four years, including including as deputy national security adviser, was in the vicinity of the Oval Office at various points throughout the day.
When he saw that tweet.
He immediately decided to resign his position.
Let's watch him describe his reaction to the president's tweet.
One of my staff brought me a printout of a tweet by the president, and the tweet said something to the effect that Mike Pence, the vice president, didn't have the courage to do what he what should have been done.
I mean, I read that tweet.
And made a decision at that moment to resign.
That's where I knew that I was leaving that day.
Once I read that tweet.
Ultimately members of the White House staff, Sarah MATTHEWS, Cabinet members, Secretary Chao and Secretary Davos resigned as well.
Here is Secretary Devos's resignation letter.
As you can see in resigning on January six, Secretary Davos said to the president, quote, There's no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation.
And it is the inflection point for me.
It's also look at Secretary Chao's resignation statement.
When Secretary Chao resigned, she spoke of the January 6th attack and she said, quote, As I am sure is the case with many of you, this is deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.
Ms.. Hutchinson, in our prior interviews, we've asked you about what the President's advisers were urging him to do during the attack.
You've described roughly three different camps of thought inside the White House that day.
Can you tell us about those?
There is a group of individuals that were strongly urging him to take immediate and swift action.
I would classify the White House Counsel's Office, Mr. Hirschmann, Ms.. Ivanka Trump in that category of.
To get him to take action and pleading with him to take action.
There is a more neutral group.
Advisors were trying to toe the line, knowing that Mr. Trump didn't necessarily want to take immediate action and condemn the riots, but knowing something needed to be done.
And then there was the last group which was deflect and blame.
Let's blame MTV.
These aren't our people.
It's my understanding that.
Mr. Meadows was in.
The deflect and blame category, but he did end up taking a more neutral route, knowing that there were several advisors in the president's circle urging him to take more action, which I think was reflected in the rhetoric released later that day in the videos.
You told us that the White House Counsel's Office was in the camp encouraging the president to tell the rioters to stop the attack and to leave the Capitol.
What happens is all of us wanted there to be a strong statement out to condemn the rioters.
I'm confident in that.
Now let's look at just one example of what some senior advisers to the president were urging.
Mr. Hutchinson, could you look at the exhibit that we're showing on the screen now?
Have you seen this note before?
That's a note that I wrote at the direction of the chief of staff on January six, likely around 3:00.
And it's written on a chief of staff note card.
But that's your handwriting, this Hutchinson.
That's my handwriting.
And why did you write this note?
The Chief of staff was in a meeting with Eric Hershman and potentially Mr. Philbin and they had rushed out of the office fairly quickly, Mark, and handed me the note card with one of his pens.
And sort of dictating a statement for the president to potentially put out.
No, I'm sorry.
There are two phrases on there.
One illegal and then one without proper authority.
The illegal phrase was the one that Mr. Meadows had dictated to me.
Mr. Hershman had chimed in and said, Also put without legal authority, there should have been a slash between the two phrases.
It was an or if the president had opted to put one of those statements out.
Evidently he didn't.
Later that afternoon, Mark came back from the Oval Dining Room and put the palm card on my desk.
With illegally crossed out.
But said we didn't need to take further action on that statement.
So to your knowledge, this statement was never issued?
It was to my knowledge, it was never issued.
And Mr. Johnson, did you understand that Ivanka Trump wanted her father to send people home?
That's my understanding, yes.
Let's play a clip of you addressing that issue.
I remember her saying at various points.
Now she wants him.
She wanted her dad to send them home.
She wanted her dad to tell them to go home peacefully.
And she wanted to include language that he necessarily wasn't on board with at the time.
You will hear more about this in our later hearings.
But we have evidence of many others imploring Donald Trump and Mark Meadows to take action.
Here is some of that evidence.
Text messages sent to Mark Meadows during the attack.
This is a text message at 232 from Laura Ingram.
The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home in the next message.
This is hurting all of us.
And then he's destroying his legacy and playing into every stereotype.
We lose all credibility against the BLM Antifa crowd.
If things go south.
The president's son, Don Jr. Also urgently contacted Mark Meadows at 253.
He's got to condemn this shit ASAP.
The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.
As you will see, these are just two of the numerous examples of Trump supporters and allies urging the president to tell his supporters to leave.
The Capitol would not have been hard for the president to simply walk down to the briefing room a few feet down the hall from the Oval Office.
As Norah O'Donnell noted during an interview with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, where Leader McCarthy said he believed the attack was un-American.
And I quickly bring in Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader.
Leader McCarthy, do you condemn this violence?
I completely condemn the violence in the capital.
What we're currently watching unfold is un-American.
I am I'm disappointed and sad.
This is not what our country should look like.
This is not who we are.
This is not the First Amendment.
This has to stop and this has to stop now.
Leader McCarthy, the president, United States has a briefing room steps from the Oval Office.
The cameras are hot, 24 seven, as you know.
Why hasn't he walked down and said that now?
I conveyed to the president what I think is best to do, and I'm hopeful the president will do it.
Republican House member Mike Gallagher also implored the president to call off the attack.
Mr. President, you have got to stop this.
You are the only person who can call this off.
Call it off.
The election is over.
Call it off.
This is bigger than you.
It's bigger than any member of Congress.
It is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician.
Call it off.
Despite the fact that many people close to Donald Trump were urging him to send people home.
He did not do so until later, much later.
And 4:17 p.m. Donald Trump finally told the rioters to go home and that he loved them.
Here's a portion of the video President Trump recorded from the White House.
We have to have peace.
So go home.
We love you.
You're very special.
You've seen what happens.
You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil.
I know how you feel.
But go home and go home in peace.
But as we will show in even greater detail in future hearings, Donald Trump was reluctant to put this message out and he still could not bring himself to condemn the attack.
Ms. Hutchinson has told us that.
I one that he put out it for 17.
I'm sure you've discussed it.
And just to elaborate, if I hadn't already at that point, I recall him being reluctant to film the video on the six.
I was not involved in any of the logistics or the planning for that video.
I just remember seeing the video go out and feeling a little shocked after it went out.
On the evening of January 6th and the day after, the president's family and his senior staff and others tried to encourage the president to condemn the violence and commit to the peaceful transition of power.
At 3:31 p.m. on January six, Sean HANNITY of Fox News texted Mark Meadows.
Mr. HANNITY said, quote, Can he make a statement?
I saw the tweet, ask people to leave the Capitol.
Later that evening, Mr. HANNITY sent another text message to Mark Meadows.
This time, he shared a link to a tweet.
That tweet reported that President Trump's cabinet secretaries were considering invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
As you can see on the screen, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution creates a process for the transition of power if a president is unfit or unable to serve.
25th Amendment has never been used to remove a president.
But the committee has learned that after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, this was being discussed by members of President Trump's cabinet as a way of stripping the full power of the presidency from Donald Trump.
President Trump's supporters were worried, in addition to the tweet that he sent Mark Meadows after the attack.
Sean HANNITY apparently spoke with President Trump and warned him about what could happen.
We understand that this text message that Sean HANNITY sent to Kayleigh MCENANY on January seven shows what Mr. HANNITY said to the president.
First, no more stolen election talk.
Second, impeachment and 25th Amendment are real.
Many people will quit.
Miss Hutchinson, you told us that you were hearing about discussions related to the 25th Amendment.
Here's part of what you said.
Mr. Pompeo reached out to have the conversation with Mr. Meadows in case he hadn't heard the discussions among Cabinet secretaries.
And from what I understand, it was more of a.
This is what I'm hearing.
I want you to be aware of it.
But I also think it's worth putting on your radar because you are the chief of staff here, technically the boss of all the cabinet secretaries.
And, you know, if conversations progress, you should be ready to take action on this.
Like I'm concerned for you and your positioning with this, you know, reach out to me if you have any questions or like I can be helpful with you at all.
Inside the White House, the president's advisers, including members of his family, wanted him to deliver a speech to the country.
Deputy White House Counsel Pat Philbin prepared the first draft of what would be the president's remarks on national healing, delivered via pre-taped video on January 7th when he arrived at the White House on the seventh.
Mr. Philbin believed that more needed to be said, so he sat down and started writing.
He shared the draft with Pat Cipollone, who also believed the president needed to say more.
Mr. Cipollone agreed with the content, as did Eric Hirschman, who reviewed the draft.
The committee has learned that the president did not agree with the substance as drafted and resisted giving a speech at all.
Do you recall discussions about the President's speech on January 7th?
Let's listen, Ms.. Hutchison, to what you told us about that and about the process of crafting those remarks.
I learned from a conversation with Mark and over here between him and White House Counsel Erik Hersman as well, that Trump didn't necessarily think he needed to do anything more on the seventh than what he had already done on the six when he was.
Convinced to put out a video on the seventh.
He I understand that he had a lot of opinions about what the contents of that announcement were, too, until I had the original draft of the speech where, you know, there were several lines that didn't make it in there about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent.
He didn't want that in there.
He wanted to put an ad that he wanted to press potentially pardon them.
And this just with the increased emphasis of his mindset at the time, which was he didn't think that they did anything wrong.
Even the people who did something wrong that day or the person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence by not standing with him.
But the president's advisers urged him to give the speech.
Who convinced him to do the video on the seventh.
I'm not sure who convinced him if it was a group of people that convinced him.
Who is in the group that you're aware of.
That I'm aware of?
Marc, Ivanka, Jared Kushner, Eric Hirschman.
Possibly Pat Philbin.
Those are the people that I'm aware of.
Do you know why that group of people thought it was necessary for him to release a statement?
I believe Kelly McInerney as well.
From what I understood at the time and from what the reports were coming in there, a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked.
And there are concerns about what would happen in the Senate if it was the 25th was invoked.
So the primary reason that I had heard other than, you know, we did not do enough on the six, we need to get a stronger message out there and condemn this is otherwise this will be our legacy.
The secondary reason to that was think about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency if we don't do this.
There's already talked a lot about the 25th Amendment.
You need this as cover.
The President ultimately delivered the remarks.
Unlike many of his other speeches, he did not adlib much.
He recited them without significant alteration except one.
Even then, on January 7th, 2021, the day after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the president still could not bring himself to say, quote, but this election is now over.
One other point about the speech, Miss Hutchinson.
Did you hear that Mr. Trump at one point wanted to add language about pardoning those who took part in the January six riot.
I did hear that.
And I understand that, Mr. Mayor, that Mr. Meadows was encouraging that language as well.
And here's what you told us previously about that.
He said he was instructed not to include it.
Who was instructing him not to include language about the pardon in that January seven?
I understood from White House Counsel's Office coming to our office that morning that they didn't think that it was a good idea to include that in the speech.
That being Pat Cipollone is correct.
And Eric Hersman.
Miss Hutchinson, did Rudy Giuliani ever suggest that he was interested in receiving a presidential pardon related to January 6th?
Ms.. Hutchison, did White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ever indicate that he was interested in receiving a presidential pardon related to January 6th?
Mr. Meadows to seek that pardon?
Thank you, Ms.. Hutchinson.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
I want to thank our witnesses for joining us today.
The members of the select committee may have additional questions for today's witness, and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions.
Without objections, members will be permitted ten business days to submit statements for the record, including opening remarks and additional questions for the witness.
Without objection, the Chair recognizes the Vice-Chair for closing statement.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I want to begin by thanking Ms.. Hutchinson for her testimony today.
We are all in her debt.
Our nation is preserved by those who abide by their oaths to our Constitution.
Our nation is preserved by those who know the fundamental difference between right and wrong.
And I want all Americans to know that what Ms.. Hutchinson has done today is not easy.
The easy course is to hide from the spotlight, to refuse to come forward, to attempt to downplay or deny what happened.
That brings me to a different topic.
Well, our committee has seen many witnesses, including many Republicans, testify fully and forthrightly.
This has not been true of every witness, and we have received evidence of one particular practice that raises significant concern.
Our committee commonly asks witnesses connected to Mr. Trump's administration or campaign whether they've been contacted by any of their former colleagues or anyone else who attempted to influence or impact their testimony.
Without identifying any of the individuals involved.
Let me show you a couple of samples of answers we received to this question.
Here is how one witness described phone calls from people interested in that witnesses testimony.
Well, what they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I'm on the right team, I'm doing the right thing.
I'm protecting who I need to protect.
You know, I'll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world.
And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts.
And just keep that in mind as I proceed through my interviews with the committee.
Here's another sample in a different context.
This is a call received by one of our witnesses.
Quote a person.
Let me know.
You have your deposition tomorrow.
He wants me to let you know he's thinking about you.
He knows you're loyal and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.
I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify truthfully presents very serious concerns.
We will be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps.
Mr. Chairman, thank you.
I yield back.
Gentlewoman yields back.
Thank you for doing your patriotic duty and helping the American people get a complete understanding of January 6th and its causes.
Thank you for your courage in testifying here today.
You have the gratitude of this committee and your country.
I know it wasn't easy to sit here today and answer these questions.
But after hearing your testimony in all this candor and detail, I want to speak directly to the handful of witnesses who have been outliers in our investigation, the small number who have defied us outright.
Those whose memories have failed them again and again on the most important details.
And to those who fear Donald Trump and his enablers because of this courageous woman and others like her, you attempt to hide the truth from the American people will fail.
And to that group of witnesses, if you've heard this testimony today and suddenly you remember things you couldn't previously recall, or they are some details you'd like to clarify, or you discovered some courage you had hidden away somewhere.
Our doors remain open.
The select committee will reconvene in the weeks ahead as we continue to lay out our findings to the American people.
The chair requests those in the hearing room to remain seated until the Capitol Police have excluded the witness and members from the room.
Without objection, committed stands a joint.
Chairman Bennie Thompson gavels this hearing to a closed, without doubt, the most explosive testimony we've heard so far in these public hearings.
Most damning testimony about President Trump and in the last few minutes, damning testimony about his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
We heard Cassidy Hutchinson, the young woman you see there on camera who was the chief of staff's executive assistant, testified that Mark Meadows himself was asking the president about a pardon.
She also testified that Rudy Giuliani, the president's attorney, was asking about a pardon.
But that was just one part of what we heard in these the last 2 hours of testimony.
Victoria Nurse, who has joined us for analysis.
I think we cannot ignore the comment that we heard that we just heard from from Cassidy Hutchinson about when the president was told about the threats to then Vice President Pence.
He the president said or the president was described as saying he doesn't think that they've done anything wrong.
Well, that was the theme of this testimony about how over hours, while members were going into the Oval Office, meeting him in his dining room, he kept saying, I don't want to issue a statement.
I don't think the writers have done anything wrong.
Even after the Mike Pence chants, the president, as she testified, Mr. Meadows, said, The President does not want to do anything.
Even after Pat Cipollone, you know, launches into his office and says, people are going to die.
We have to do something.
Jameel Jaffer, a law professor at George Mason University.
This is testimony.
And then in the final moments, hearing the chair, Bennie Thompson, saying to other witnesses who may be thinking about coming forward that the committee is still open.
You know, Judy, some really troubling testimony in this last round with Cassidy Hutchinson.
I mean, the fact that the White House counsel, the chief of staff, his other lawyers are in there telling him, Mr. President, we need to do more.
And after they walk out, because the president's not ready to do more, and the chief of staff says the White House counsel, the president thinks Mike Pence deserves it.
He thinks the protesters, these these riders are doing nothing wrong.
I mean, it's appalling.
Castillo described it as unpatriotic, un-American.
When she talked about his tweet, she said she was disgusted.
And she is exactly right.
There is not a Republican on Capitol Hill, not a Republican who's a member of the party that I've been a part of my entire political career that can stand by this president, say what he did was the right thing, that he behaved in an American way, in a patriotic way.
His behavior is disgusting and outrageous and appalling and describing see what happened there is just shocking.
And Lisa Desjardins, our congressional correspondent, has been in the hearing room.
She joins me from Capitol Hill.
Lisa, one has to wonder, what are Republican members of Congress thinking as they listen to this and hear about it?
And I'm trying to text with a number of them.
As I reported, they're still saying they haven't been watching the hearings.
The one I'm the ones who are responding.
There are a large number who are not yet responding.
They're clearly trying to put together how they will reflect upon this hearing and some staffers obviously trying to figure out how to write statements for their bosses.
I will say that hearing room, the atmosphere there was different than on any other day that I've been in there.
For one, the setup was a little bit different and the Capitol Police officers who were usually in the front were in the back.
There were people I saw who had tears and anger in their faces.
Not not at all.
Laura Barron-Lopez, I wanted to get to you.
Our time is just about up, but we all have to shake our heads and more as we listen to this testimony about what was going on in the White House.
I mean, it's frankly very surprising.
And a key part of it was Pat Cipollone, White House counsel there, who said to to who said to Cassidy that he thought that they could be charged with every crime imaginable.
Just so much to digest from this testimony today.
It's it's going to take a lot of reporting and analyzing in the days to come.
Thank you all for that.
Does conclude our live coverage of this six day public hearings, explosive public hearings today on the January 6th attack.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
We're now going to return you to your regularly scheduled PBS programing.
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